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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in sarah jessica parker (3)


In Which There Is A Secret Loathing For The One She's With

Not In Love


creator Sharon Horgan

Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is very upset in her marriage with Mr. Robert Big (Thomas Haden Church). She explains that when she comes home early from work and she sees Bob's car in the driveway, her heart sinks. She says that she wants to save her life while it still means something to her. The next morning Bob Big shows up in her bedroom and asks to give her an orgasm. "I'm going to lick your vagina and tongue dart your anus," he explains while she begs him to stop.

Subsequently, Mr. Big suggests counseling. "We've been to counseling," Carrie explains. She no longer does very much writing, although she still asks rhetorical questions out loud and never receives an answer. Carrie now has a twelve year-old daughter who she rags on a lot about brushing her teeth, and a teenaged son who takes the school bus, I guess because they don't want him driving a car. Carrie used to love New York City but now she only sees it from the distance.

In a bit of shock, it turns out that Carrie wants to be in a love relationship with Julian (Jemaine Clement) who makes the most phenomenal granola. He orders a pizza for her. Sure, he seems little unconventional, but he is able to bring her to orgasm. When she tells him that she is getting a divorce, he says he is surprised. "You have kids," he says. "I still have kids," she responds. "We can't even watch TV together because he repeats the jokes right after he hears them." He loses his appetite for the pizza shortly thereafter.

It seems like even after matrimony, Carrie's relationships with men are still basically surface-level. She has many of the economic goals she wanted to reach when she was a hot single in Manhattan, but she is still unhappy. "When did it start to go off the tracks in your mind?" he asks. Given a lack of other options, she has sex with her husband one last time. He is on top, kissing her forehead.

When Carrie's friend Samantha finally tried to pursue a committed, monogamous relationship, it unraveled apart rather quickly. She tried to give him a three-way for his birthday, and she became really jealous that he looked so good for an older man. He ended up cheating on her and she forgave him, a couple times I think. She seems to have learned nothing from this.

When Mr. Big finds out about his wife's affair, he locks his wife out of their house. It's neat how Horgan begins her story in the deep of winter, making Long Island feel like a real place at times. Haden Church is a pretty ugly villain as Mr. Big, but you can totally believe that he would become a paunchy suburban father with no discernible personality of his own.

Parker herself looks almost exactly like she did so many years ago. Her haircut is a lot better, and she is a lot more believable when it comes to being a vulnerable woman in late middle age. Her sweaters look so soft, and while Divorce tries to tell us that she is really an unhappy person, we get the opposite impression from her general mien and how she carries herself. She rarely fidgets or sighs, she just is.

Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording.


In Which I Had To Wait 300 Years For A Virgin To Light A Candle  

Brothers and Sisters


Binx is a young, sweaty boy living in Salem when his little sister is abducted by the Sanderson sisters, a group of witches living in the woods. Not only does he fail to save her but in the process he’s turned into a cat and forced to live forever with his guilt. The witches are hanged, but Winifred, the eldest, manages to cast in spell — that if a virgin lights the black flame candle they will be brought back from the dead. Fast forward 300 years. Much to the dismay of the 300 year old Binx, hot shot Max Dennison, whose family has just moved to Salem from Los Angeles, lights the candle to impress a girl named Allison (Vinessa Shaw), who has excellent “yaboos." The sisters return; chaos reigns.

When the movie begins, Max’s relationship with his younger sister Dani (Thora Birch) is on the rocks. He hates Salem — he misses his friends in L.A. and he’s become the victim of bullying. Now Dani wants him to take her trick-or-treating. "Take your candy and get out of my life," he tells her. But when they stumble upon Alison’s house (the girl from school who Max has a crush on) Max lights the candle to impress her, and now the three of them, joined by Binx the immortal cat, must bond together to defeat the Sisters.

Winifred, on the other hand, can’t get her sisters to do anything she wants. She’s cursed with them — Sarah Jessica Parker, the hopped up sex bimbo, and Kathy Najimy, the slapstick fat girl. Winifred is an excellent sorceress, and she’s only interested in how she can use her sisters to get what she wants. There’s no love lost here. She’s a witch but she’s also a bad big sister, making her undeniably evil. This is a Disney film.

Hocus Pocus deals very seriously with the trials and tribulations of sibling relationships. Binx embodies the white knight though he’s stuck in the body of the symbol of bad omens, the black cat. His guilt over losing Emily is overwhelming, and he sees Dani as a second chance. If he can help Max and Dani repair their relationship, then together they can defeat the Sanderson sisters, and Binx’s soul will finally be released. It’s easy for Binx to fall in love with Dani, the adorable Thora Birch, who reminds him of the sister he lost so long ago.

In a moment when Max thinks he’s defeated the Sisters, Binx tells him "Take good care of Dani, Max. You’ll never know how precious she is, until you lose her." Binx runs off, but Max tells him “Where do you think you’re going buddy? You’re a Dennison now. You're one of us." Even though Binx is glad the Sanderson sisters are gone, his sorrow over Emily remains. But Binx will have another chance to save Emily — this time, it’s Dani who’s been abducted by the sisters — and now Max and Binx will both have to fight to save her.

Of course Max’s crew is victorious — Winifed can’t get her book full of magic spells back in time (she has until sunrise) and the three sisters are turned to dust. But her real failing is her resentement of her sisters, who she sees as dead weight. She doesn’t love them like Binx and Max love Dani. And so, the good big siblings win. Thackery Binx is finally returned to his boy form, his pilgrim top fluttering in the breeze. Before he leaves, Binx tells Dani "I shall always be with you," and kisses her on the cheek. Emily appears, calling "Thackery, Thackery Binx! What took thee so long?" He famously replies, “Sorry Emily! I had to wait three hundred years for a virgin to light a candle." Max's virgin-status may change as he and Alison smile knowingly at each other. As Binx and Emily walk off into the sunset, Max and Dani’s relationship is also repaired: she tells him "I love you, jerkface." Dani is happy for Binx but sorry to lose him — her tearful smile says it all, as we close with Dani being embraced by her new protector — her big brother.

For all the big brothers and sisters out there who are taking their younger siblings trick or treating, or for those only children who have a Binx in their lives — a very Happy Halloween to you and yours.

Jessica Ferri is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. She blogs here.

"El Scorcho" - Weezer (mp3)

"El Scorcho (live acoustic)" - Weezer (mp3)

"El Scorcho (live at y100 sonic session)" - Weezer (mp3)


In Which It's Hard Not To Be Disappointed

The Things They Carried


Sex and the City 2

dir. Michael Patrick King

146 minutes

The biggest, most worrisome problem with Sex and the City 2 has almost nothing to do with its worse-than-student-film progression of scenes or its hints of orientalism. Even after you count those grievances, the sequel is only slightly more ridiculous than the show could get sometimes, which makes the exaggerated backlash seem like tired sexist filler. Beyond that, the movie commits a more serious crime, onscreen and off: after a decade-long battle between the show's forces of good and evil, the movie declares a victor — and the dark side wins.

At one point in the new movie, Carrie gets a bad review from The New Yorker, a particularly painful blow, she says, since she's been "carrying the magazine in her purse" forever. It's about halfway in, but it cements (in an irony that was clearly lost on the writers) what had been obvious ever since before the movie's release. Despite Carrie's long years of observation and wit, the writers finished her and her friends off with gratuitous musical numbers sung in incredibly expensive overskirts and boring dialogue that disrespected the intellect of its "I'm here for the writing (and sure, the dresses are pretty)" fans. After the series' skillful merging of the Vogue and New Yorker mindset into one lifestyle, the movie version's New Yorker saw its surroundings and said enough.

You could tell decadence was coming to claim its title ever since those promotional sequel posters went up. Whereas original Carrie was fresh-faced and unafraid to show it — despite a lack of billboard-approved golden ratio — new Carrie's skin looked like it gold-plated itself in desperation. All around her, the pink rhinestones of promos past had been replaced by diamonds, and she was suddenly statuesque. Not only were we "not in Kansas anymore" (Bradshaw, via Oz), we were in an alternate future reality where past Carrie was fading by the minute (via Zemeckis/my fatigue). We all know Carrie would have vetoed the poster, so it made no sense that someone thought we'd all love it.

When the preview came out, with "Empire State of Mind" playing as if to overpower the sounds of a botched sequel, hope of any trace left of 'casual Carrie' worsened. After years of fighting the pull of consumer whoredom and ungraceful aging, it looked like the (not single) ladies had thrown their hands up. The once-iconic (and penniless) free spirit symbol had completed her transformation into a Real Housewife.

I was hardly unprepared for this endpoint. It's just hard not to be disappointed when you felt like the end result wasn't entirely inevitable. The beauty of Sex and the City, to me, was that it left a door open towards another route, The New Yorker bright side where hormone pills are not a requisite and everyone does their own hair and you don't need Louboutins to ride a camel.

For every fashionistard Manolo-seeker who watched the show, there were two simple girls appreciating the medium-quality puns, the openness about personal imperfections, all the hidden no-frills easter eggs. For all the visible labels, there were counterparts like the no-name restaurant that shaped the show or the Sunday morning no-makeup shots. Unfortunately, we less-frivolous viewers lost out in the final breakdown.

The weird thing about the movie is that it continues to entertain the notion of choosing to "make your own rules," even while eventually extinguishing it. Carrie's attempt to work with Big's proposal about days off is progressive; Miranda's fruitless efforts to teach the girls about Muslim culture are brave and more than many tourists will ever attempt. But then their grand statement is about how Muslim women also wear Vuitton and the end sees Carrie and Big back to normal and it all falls apart again.

It's interesting to note — in order to finally place some blame — those for whom Sex and the City meant the most. Despite its place in the cultural cult canon, the show did not spawn a typical autograph-seeking/crush-harboring type of uberfan.

Instead of decorating their dorm walls with posters of the foursome or turning into the target market for all of the actresses' films, devoted viewers of the show obsessed inwards — they started appropriating the main characters' names to differentiate the slight variations in their nevertheless superficial behavior and ordering the group's choice drink as proof of their own parallel urbanity. If only the show had never tried to reclaim its former glory at the multiplex (unsuccessfully, it seems post-Shrek), this towering ball of shrieks would not have turned into the defining legacy of an otherwise important show. If only.

Fernanda Diaz is a contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in New York. She tumbls here.

"The Living Years" - Mike and the Mechanics (mp3)

"You Don't Know How It Feels" - Tom Petty (mp3)

"Forever Young" - Youth Group (mp3)